Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday asked cooperatives to venture into new businesses like beekeeping and seaweed farming to help farmers in India double their income by 2022, PTI reported.

“See what best practices to adopt, give up the old ones and move ahead,” the prime minister told cooperatives while addressing an event commemorating the birth centenary of Maharashtra-based cooperative leader Laxman Madhav Rao Inamdar.

Modi said there is a need for a system to ensure farmers buy and sell at wholesale prices. “Today, farmers buy [farm inputs] at the retail rate and sell their produce at wholesale rates. Can it be reversed?,” he asked. “If they buy inputs at wholesale rates and sell their produce at retail prices, then nobody can loot them, not even middlemen.”

He also said that farmers have increasingly associated themselves with dairy cooperatives because these organisations sell milk at wholesale prices. He asked other cooperatives to follow this policy so farmers can increase their income.

At the event, the prime minister released two books on Inamdar and nine other leaders of the cooperative movement in the country.